Melody and family had a trying year. Even before then, life had been difficult. Stress and anxiety ruled the roost. It’s amazing they got through it unscathed. But, as stressful as their lives were, and as much anxiety as Melody allowed to flow through her, she had not felt as anxious as she did mounting the stairs of her sister’s new house.
How long had it been? And, why had it been so long? How could they let it happen? Cadence’s warm smile was almost enough to break through all the clutter strewn between them and forgive her on the spot, but Melody kept her game face on. She wasn’t going to let her off that easy.
Gazing into her sister’s beautiful brown eyes, all the past years seemed to rush forward. They were friends once. Her sister. Her twin. Why did they stop talking? There was no fight, no disagreement. Just a silent falling away that neither acknowledged. It ate her up inside. Still, she did nothing. Cadence was always the more responsible one. Mommy’s little angel. Why didn’t she make an attempt? After all, she started it.
“I’ve missed you, Mel.”
Her sweet voice called her out of the pit she was falling into.
“I’ve missed you so much.”
She embraced her, and that’s all it took for Melody to forget about everything and forgive. “Me too. I’m so sorry!”
They cried in each other’s arms for a while, letting all the bad blood between them go in their own ways. Afterward, the important business, of course.
“When are you due?”
Melody palmed her twin’s womb. “Hey there, sweet pea!” That was yet another name their parents called Cadence. She didn’t have any cute nicknames. Even though she caused so much trouble in her youth, her parents always followed her wherever she went. Maybe she was their favorite afterall. A likelier story would be they were making sure she didn’t blow something up. “Do you know what it is?”
“Nah. We wanna be surprised.”
“It’s so much more fun that way! All ours were surprises…”
The negative thoughts tried to creep back up again. If they had been friends, she would have known that. But, she forgave her and was moving forward. She shook those thoughts away.
“This is a good look for you, Cadence.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah. You’re a natural. I’m still trying to figure out this mom thing.”
She laughed. “After three?”
“We might be twins, but we’re not alike.”
Cadence snorted. “That is true. Let’s go in.”
Melody stepped through the door and looked around. The decor was a bit dated, but she knew Cadence would have it fixed up to look like them in no time. They had just moved in anyway. Her brother-in-law, Cameron, was in the zone, strumming his guitar. He looked like he didn’t even know they were in the room.
“It’s ok, Cadence. Leave him alone. I’ll see him tomorrow.”
She remembered how it was when their father wrote songs. He’d work on them all day and never knew when they came home from school. Melody always thought being a musician was probably the hardest but most awesome job ever. They had to pour so much of themselves into their music, but it had to feel amazing.
Cadence lead her through a short hallway to the kitchen. It was very small, but in a way it suited them.
Everyone always urges people to forgive, but no one ever tells them how hard it was to live out. They treat it like some magic bullet that makes everything instantly ok, and maybe for some it happened that way. But, Melody and Cadence found it hard to not bring up the past.
“Heh, look at us,” Melody began. “Living in our own houses with our own families. Crazy, right?”
Cadence shrugged. “It’s not so crazy. You always wanted this.”
“And you finally warmed up to it.”
She grinned. “Yeah, I did. Just…catching up with you…”
Uh oh. Melody knew that look. She had seen it a thousand times. Back in the day, it was a look of jealousy. She had no idea what it meant now, but she did know they could no longer sweep the past under the rug. Small talk was over.
“Cadence…what happened to us?”
“You left me,” she yelled as if it had been at the tip of her tongue half her life.
“I got married!”
“Even before then! You met River, and he was the only one who mattered to you. You left me!”
Melody felt like she had been slapped in the face. It was so simple. How could she not see it? She knew. She learned it in therapy with River. Melody was selfish and always had to have her way like the spoiled little princess she was as a child. It wasn’t new information. Her mother had been telling her that for years, but it was a bit more palatable coming from a professional’s mouth. She did leave her twin behind, but relationships are two-way streets. In Melody’s selfish ways, she placed the onus on keeping in touch on Cadence when she should have done the same. Melody bore the blame more than Cadence, but they were both guilty.
“I’m so sorry, Cadence.” Tears poured down her face. “You’re right. I only care about what I want. I’ve been learning that for a little while. I want to do better. I really do! I wish I could do all those years over again, but we only have the future. I want you to be my–I want to be your friend. Can we be friends again?”
The warm smile of old transformed Cadence’s sullen face. “You’re my sister, Mel. We’ll always be friends!”
Check out the song by CeCe Winans which was the inspiration behind this chapter!
There’s only one more chapter after this!! Can you believe this story is finally almost over? Wow! See you all next Friday!